A Family Adventure in Paris – Part 7 – Conclusion

In the weeks that have passed since our trip, one of the most important things has been occurring – our kids keep talking about it.  Once and a while they say things like, “this is a lot of walking, like when we were in Paris,” but overwhelmingly their references are quite positive.  They’ll ask, “Remember the Eiffel Tower?” or will see a photo of the Mona Lisa and yell out, “We saw that painting.”  Things like that show that hopefully this trip will form some lasting memories for my kids.

I know the trip set some lasting memories for me.  I can still picture the way my daughter’s face lit up when she saw the Eiffel Tower from the van on the way into the city from the airport.  She knew she was someplace she had heard a lot about – and was going to experience it first-hand.  Memories like that are the truly priceless ones.

Including ticketing fees, parking at the airport, meals, coffees, admissions to museums and the like, our total cash outlay for the trip was a little over $2,500.  Back out dinner at Taillevent and Savy (our two deluxe meals), and that number looks more like $1,000 – pretty reasonable!

Had we paid for our air tickets, the cost would have been about $22,400 ($5,600 per ticket).  Our hotel would have been $3,520 for the nights we stayed.  For 516,000 miles/points, we saved $25,920 (or not quite the cost of the trip to Hawaii), or slightly over $0.05 per mile/point in aggregate.  Not a bad value.

Delta allows a free stopover on international tickets.  Knowing I wanted to take the kids down to Florida to see their Great Grandmother in early May, when I booked my tickets, I included a continuation flight from JFK to FLL for May.  (As I write this, I’m on my three-month “stopover” in New York!)  The cost for one-way first class tickets down to FLL are about $500 one way, so for no extra miles, I was able to bake in half of my trip to Ft Lauderdale, too!  Better yet, I intentionally booked this add-on for only three tickets, so my wife can stay at home and relax without anyone around to bother her.  She’ll enjoy that time.

The valuation on the Delta points, inclusive of the one-way to Ft Lauderdale for May, was $0.06 per Delta mile.  “SkyPesos” my a-double-s!

Noting that this website is “Sit In First,” not “Sit in Business,” I should address why we were stuck in business class.  Regrettably, Delta points cannot be used for first class redemptions on three-class flights.  If you’re on Delta points, the forward-most cabin is simply off-limits on a three cabin flight.  Air France makes the first class cabin available only for their Gold elites, and even then, a trans-Atlantic flight is 250,000 miles round trip (compare to BA first at 120,000).  I had considered doing the Air France status match from last year and transferring Amex points to AF so that we could try their first class product, but I never got around to the match – so we were relegated to business.  It would be nice if SkyTeam opened up the first class cabins on Korean and Air France for redemption opportunities within the alliance, but I’m not holding my breath.

Considering we secured four low-miles business awards on non-stop flights on the exact dates we wanted to travel – had excellent in-flight service – and created some wonderful family memories, I have nothing whatsoever to complain about.  This was a very memorable trip for my entire family – one we’ll remember for years – to a city I’m sure we’ll visit again soon.

Merci d'avoir lu mon rapport.

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